Seaman's Handbook

Maritime Pilotage Regulations


  • For the purpose of this Schedule:

    "beam" (B) means the maximum width in metres from the outermost side of any fixed permanent structure to the other outermost side of any fixed permanent structure of the ship;

    "disabled ship" means any ship which arrives off Malta on tow or with engine breakdown or with rudder trouble or other defect which affects the capability of the sip when manoeuvring while pilotage services are being provided;

    "extraordinary services" are services provided to ships which go beyond the normal duty of the pilot;

    "Fuel Price Adjustment" is the amount of money to be increased or decreased to the tariff depending on the variation of the price of fuel as agreed to in the pilotage agreement;

    "length overall (LOA)" means the overall length in metres from foreside of the foremost fixed permanent structure to the aftside of the aftermost fixed permanent structure of the ship;

    "maximum draft" (Max D) means the maximum draft in metres that the ship can submerge when fully laden;

    "oil tanker" means a ship which complies with the definition of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 1973, and Protocol of 1978, as amended;

    "ton" means the gross registered tonnage of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969:

    Provided that if a ship has more than one gross tonnage, then the higher or highest of such gross tonnages shall be the gross tonnage for the purpose of calculating this tariff:

    Provided further that in respect of ships with particular characteristics and parameters )such as an oil rig, a barge, etc.) the "Gross Tonnage" for the purpose of calculating the pilotage tariff shall be in accordance with the following formula:

                                                         GT = LOA x B x Max D.
    Where:                             Max D = not less than 0.2v LOA x B


  • The Pilotage dues at the Standard Rate (SR) for pilotage services shall be as follows:


    Ships not exceeding 500 tons




    Ships exceeding 500 tons and not exceeding 1,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 1,000 tons and not exceeding 2,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 2,000 tons and not exceeding 3,500 tons




    Ships exceeding 3,500 tons and not exceeding 5,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 5,000 tons and not exceeding 7,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 7,000 tons and not exceeding 10,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 10,000 tons and not exceeding 15,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 15,000 tons and not exceeding 20,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 20,000 tons and not exceeding 25,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 25,000 tons and not exceeding 30,000 tons




    Ships exceeding 30,000 tons and not exceeding 40,000 tons




    For every additional 10,000 tons or part thereof in excess of 40,000 tons



  • Pilotage dues at the standard rate shall be charged for either:
    • entering port; or
    • leaving port; or
    • shifting berth under own power ("hot move") in the same port.


  • Charges additional to pilotage dues at the standard rate shall be made as follows:



    20% SR



    Night shift between 1900 hrs and 0700 hrs

    15% SR



    On National and Public Holidays, and on the
    24th December from 1800 hrs to 2400 hrs and on the
    31st December from 1800 hrs to 2400 hrs

    20% SR


  • Additional charges additional to the Standard Rates shall be made as follows:


    shifting berth not under own power ("cold move") in the same port

    25% SR



    shifting berth not under own power ("cold move") from one port to another

    100% SR


  • In respect of disabled ships, there shall be payable the following charges per pilot



  • Ships required to berth alongside another ship the following additional charge
    to the Standard Rate shall apply

    100% SR


  • For any of the following services:
    • making contact with a ship outside a port when the ship is not to enter that port, example anchorage, compass calibration, etc.; or
    • pilotage service rendered outside a port, including pilotage from outside the entrance of one port to another,
  • there shall be charged the Standard Rate.


  • For the purpose of calculating the pilotage dues, the services of the pilot shall be considered to commence thirty minutes before boarding the ship and thirty minutes after disembarking from the ship.


  • When a pilot is detained for a period of more than two hours during the performance of his services, or is left in quarantine, an additional charge to the Standard Rate is applicable for each following hour or part thereof



  • The request for the attendance of a pilot or pilots aboard a ship has to be made with a minimum of one hour notice before the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) or before the ETS (Estimated Time of Sailing) or the Estimated Time of Shifting.


  • When a cancellation for a request for a pilotage service is made, the following applies:


    when a cancellation notice is made prior to one hour before commencement of operation

    No Charge



    when a cancellation notice is made within the one hour immediately preceding the commencement of the operation

    70% SR


  • For shifting or for an outbound ship the following additional charges shall apply:


    if the pilot boards the ship and the sailing or shifting is cancelled or suspended
    The operation is considered cancelled or suspended if the ship is not ready for shifting or sailing within thirty minutes from the boarding time.

    70% SR



    if the pilot remains on board the ship for more than thirty minutes,
    an additional charge applies for every thirty minutes or part thereof
    till the manoeuvre commences

    35% SR


  • If an incoming ship arrives at the pilot station with a delay of more than thirty minutes or part thereof from the ETA, the following additional charge applies

    35% SR


  • If a pilot boards an incoming ship and,


    for any reason the manoeuvre does not commence within thirty minutes the following additional charge applies:

    70% SR



    if the pilot remains on board, for every thirty minutes or part thgereof until the manoeuvre commences the following additional charge applies:

    35% SR


  • For the purposes of calculating the pilotage dues the boarding and disembarking station of the pilot disembarking stations of pilots shall be as follows:
    • for Grand Harbour, close to Valletta Fairway Buoy as agreed between the service provider and the Authority;
    • for Marsaxlokk, as agreed between the service provider and the Authority close to Marsaxklokk; and
    • for Gozo, as in 16(a) above, same as for Grand Harbour


  • For other boarding and disembarking stations of the pilot around Malta and Gozo, any extra charges shall be as agreed between the service provider and the Authority.


    • All ships of 240 meters LOA and over, entering, leaving or shifting in
      Grand Harbour, are to employ two pilots with the exception of cruise
    • All ships of 300 meters LOA and over are to employ two pilots:
  • Provided that when it is necessary to employ more than one pilot for any ship, as stipulated in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b), and in the case of ships with particular configuration and special needs, the pilotage dues payable by the ship will be commensurate with the number of pilots providing the service:

    Provided further that the fee charged for the second pilot shall be discounted by 50% in those cases where the ships, as indicated in sub-paragraphs (a) to (b), are operated by a particular shipping line, after carrying out more than 100 movements in a particular calendar year.


  • When a pilot or pilots are compelled to proceed abroad with a ship they shall be provided with board and lodging at a standard not less than that of an officer on board, and not less than a first class accommodation and travel when put ashore for repatriation. Apart from all travelling and other expenses as the case may be, a rate of 300 euro per pilot per day or part thereof shall be payable to the service provider by the ship until the pilot or pilots return to Malta.


  • When so directed by the Authority the pilot launch service to moor or unmoor ships to the buoys such as Marsaxlokk Dolphins, 31st March, Gas Terminal, San Lucian, and other similar moorings, or to take a mooring rope ashore, the relative charge shall be that established by the Authority in agreement with the service provider.


  • In the eventuality that following the request for a pilotage service, the service provider reaches the conclusion that he may be entitled to present a claim for salvage and, or extraordinary service, the service provider must present the ship and/ or its representatives with a formal written notice in writing containing the claim as soon as practicable.


  • For any other particular pilotage service not otherwise specifically provided for in this Schedule, the dues payable shall be determined by the Authority which shall, as far as possible, assimilate them with the appropriate dues specified in this Schedule.


  • The "Fuel Price Adjustment" shall be added to or subtracted from, as applicable, the Pilotage Tariff and shall be applied from the time that changes in the official price of fuel are published by the appointed Government agency/authority.


  • Persons bound to pay pilotage dues in accordance with the provisions of these regulations shall also pay to the Authority an administrative charge of 5% on the total pilotage dues as established in this Schedule.